Bird flu may already have reached Slovakia

The state veterinary institute in Zvolen has said it suspects that the Avian Influenza virus killed two birds brought to the institute for examination. The institute is expected to reveal the final results of testing on February 24.

State authorities have emphasized that it is not certain that the H5N1 virus has reached Slovakia.

Two samples have been taken for testing, the first from a duck found dead in Bratislava's Vlčie Hrdlo, near the Slovnaft oil refinery, while the second was from a dead falcon found near the Gabčikovo dam, reported the SME daily.

Slovak authorities have sent the samples to London and notified the European Commission of their suspicions. Slovakia does not have the sophisticated testing equipment needed to definitively confirm the presence of the virus.

The Slovak police are watching roads connecting Gabčíkovo with the rest of the country, as the transport of poultry and birds has been banned.

Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon said he believed that bird flu would remain a veterinary problem in Slovakia. He said that in Europe so far, avian flu has not been transmitted from birds to people, as it has in east Asia.

International health authorities have confirmed 170 cases of bird flu transmission to humans since 2003, resulting in 92 deaths.

However, the unprecedented spread of bird flu to 14 more countries in the past three weeks is giving the virus many more chances to mutate into a global outbreak.

Fourteen countries, including India, Nigeria, Egypt, France and Austria, have reported their first cases of birds infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu since the beginning of February.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Kočner: I told Fico that if I was left alone, he would be PM

Denník N published another one of Kočner's recording. In it he mentions his dealings with the former prime minister.

Robert Fico

Bishops stand up against Kuffa

Even indirect engagement in politics is not adequate for clerics, they wrote.

Catholic priest Marian Kuffa

Freedom can be lost democratically, from the inside

Has the country survived the abductions of the state, the inoculation of Mečiar, Fico governments and the Kočner underworld without harm to democracy?

For a Decent Slovakia gathering: The legacy of November 1989 lives on

The organisers and participants stressed the importance of the 2020 general election.